City allocates $250K for Bancroft Park bandshell repair, other upgrades
The initial focus, based on City Council direction, will be the park's bandshell, which was damaged by a fire in January.
City Parks Operation and Maintenance Manager Kurt Schroeder has said that much of the roof will need to be replaced, in addition to parts of the stage, where the blaze started, along with its charred walls, ceiling and rafters. Better security (sealing off the stage when it's not in use) is also planned.
Built in 1935, the bandshell is a well-used feature in the 1.2-acre Old Colorado City park. But until repairs are complete, Parks has temporarily walled in the stage - although in April the department put a colorful banner over the plywood.
Other park amenities/changes are being considered as part of what the city is calling a “Bancroft Park Action Plan.” Proposals were discussed during two public meetings in April at the Westside Community Center - in addition to two online surveys.
Later that month, Schroeder revealed to council a “full vision” for a renovated park that could include (in addition to the bandshell upgrade) restrooms near Colorado Avenue, a small playground and the removal of the pavilion.
The $250,000 comes from a roughly $100,000 insurance payment and $150,000 from City Parks' conservation trust fund. City Parks has also announced plans to dedicate $225,000 more later this year from its Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) funds.
Based on City Council discussions, another $250,000 could be allotted from the city's tourism tax - the Lodgers and Automobile Rental Tax Advisory Committee (LART).
In the private sector, the Old Colorado City Foundation (OCCF) has been fundraising for the park for five years (with more than $30,000 set aside) and was recently joined in this effort by the new Westside Alliance volunteer group. (See story, Page 6.)
At the second of the two April public meetings, parks staff gave highlights of 242 citizen responses to a city online survey about Bancroft.
- Top priorities? Repair the bandshell (56 percent), improve the bathrooms (42 percent); “farmers markets” and security lighting (37 percent each).
- Popular elements to keep? The bandshell, trees and lawn, open areas, family friendliness, historic aspects and neighborhood setting.
- Popular elements to add? Restricted bandshell access, additional restrooms and Colbrunn Court as a “pedestrian plaza.”
- Like the least in the current park? “The homeless presence” and “safety concerns.”
Other staff-noted survey desires were for more events, improved safety and a reduction in the city park rental fees (to make events more affordable).
Westside Pioneer article